Day 260 September 17
The Lord told me, 2 “Go to the pottery shop, and when you get there, I will tell you what to say to the people.”
3 I went there and saw the potter making clay pots on his pottery wheel. 4 And whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he would change his mind and form it into some other shape. 5 Then the Lord told me to say: 6 People of Israel, I, the Lord, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay. 7 If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation 8 and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind. 9 If I promise to make a nation strong, 10 but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.
11 So listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem! I have decided to strike you with disaster, and I won’t change my mind unless you stop sinning and start living right. 12 But I know you won’t listen. You might as well answer, “We don’t care what you say. We have made plans to sin, and we are going to be stubborn and do what we want!”
37 When Jesus finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him home for a meal. Jesus went and sat down to eat.[e] 38 The Pharisee was surprised that he did not wash his hands[f] before eating. 39 So the Lord said to him:
You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes, but on the inside you are greedy and evil. 40 You fools! Didn’t God make both the outside and the inside?[g] 41 If you would only give what you have to the poor, everything you do would please God.
42 You Pharisees are in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your gardens, such as mint and rue. But you cheat people, and you don’t love God. You should be fair and kind to others and still give a tenth to God.
43 You Pharisees are in for trouble! You love the front seats in the meeting places, and you like to be greeted with honor in the market. 44 But you are in for trouble! You are like unmarked graves that people walk on without even knowing it. 45 A teacher of the Law of Moses spoke up, “Teacher, you said cruel things about us.” 46 Jesus replied:
You teachers are also in for trouble! You load people down with heavy burdens, but you won’t lift a finger to help them carry the loads. 47 Yes, you are really in for trouble. You build monuments to honor the prophets your own people murdered long ago. 48 You must think that was the right thing for your people to do, or else you would not have built monuments for the prophets they murdered.
49 Because of your evil deeds, the Wisdom of God said, “I will send prophets and apostles to you. But you will murder some and mistreat others.” 50 You people living today will be punished for all the prophets who have been murdered since the beginning of the world. 51 This includes every prophet from the time of Abel to the time of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the temple. You people will certainly be punished for all of this.
52 You teachers of the Law of Moses are really in for trouble! You carry the keys to the door of knowledge about God. But you never go in, and you keep others from going in. 53 Jesus was about to leave, but the teachers and the Pharisees wanted to get even with him. They tried to make him say what he thought about other things, 54 so that they could catch him saying something wrong.
At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. 2 You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. 3 At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.
4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! 6 And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. 9 It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.
Prayer: Lord, stay with us, we turn to you and cling to your love this day. Amen.